Originally published November 18 2011
Subway nutrition information - it may not be as healthy as you think
by Tara Green
(NaturalNews) Subway presents itself as a healthy alternative to eating burgers. Compared to most fast food restaurants, the Subway franchises offer more menu choices which are lower in calories, carbs, fats and sodium. Also, the company website offers more complete nutritional facts than many of the other well-known fast food establishments. However, like many food purveyors, Subway ignores the issue of GMOs and hormones.
Website InformationSubway's website includes a printable PDF chart listing allergy and food sensitivity information related to 12 categories: eggs, fish, dairy/lactose, peanuts, sesame, shellfish, soybeans, tree nuts, wheat/gluten, sulfites, autolyzed yeast/hydrolyzed vegetable protein and nitrates. If you have multiple food sensitivities, and/or have a restricted diet for other reasons, you will have to look carefully at the chart to find menu items which fit within your personal dietary guidelines. For example, someone seeking to avoid all 12 of the listed allergens can choose between their Veggie Delite Salad and their Roast Beef Salad. Since the company does not specify that the roast beef comes from an organic farm, it is probably safe to assume the cows were fed with hormones. If you eat eggs and fish, and don't live in Minnesota or Florida, where hydrolyzed vegetable protein is added to fish, or don't mind a little of this petroleum-derived food additive, you can also order the Tuna Salad.
The more of the above-listed allergens you feel comfortable including in your meal, the more your menu choices expand. If you are OK with consuming wheat, you can add a Veggie Delite Turkey Breast sandwich to your choices. If you want to include dairy and soybean products as well as wheat, you could also order the Meatball Marinara. Not listed on the allergens list, however, is the fact that the marinara sauce contains high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
This information is provided on a separate PDF page listing ingredients for each menu item, so you have to do a little preliminary research before your meal (although it is to Subway's credit that they provide the information at all, many chains provide no ingredient lists). Also, you can probably assume that neither the meat nor the cheese is hormone-free. The Subway website does not mention the issue of whether their foods derive from GMOs.
Making ChoicesSubway is a good example of how difficult it is to find truly healthy food at an affordable price. Unless you can afford to eat at a restaurant which offers only organic ingredients with no GMO's or hormones, dining out is an exercise in research, careful choices and compromises. Compared to most chains, Subway does a good job of providing complete nutritional information. However, the chain exists within the matrix of the mainstream food industry, dependent at least in part on the choices of the companies which supply its breads, vegetables, sauces, cheeses and meats.
Basically, restaurants have two choices: the healthier but more challenging option is to work only with providers who eschew GMO, hormones and industrial "food" ingredients like HFCS and autolyzed yeast, and/or make as many foods in-house as possible. The more common choice, especially among chains, involves going the easy route and serving some of the pseudo-foods which are prevalent in the chemical-food industry.
Compared to many of its competitors, Subway does a good job of providing nutritional information and a range of choices which allow consumers at least to limit their consumption of harmful substances. Within the context of the nutritional desert of the fast food industry, Subway may be your best bet. However, before you visit one of their stores, take the time to look carefully at the ingredients and weigh your choices carefully.
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